Cole Miller Interview

If you don’t know who Cole Miller is, then you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of year. Arguably the man with this years best submission, Miller is one of the few standout prospects in the Lightweight division in the UFC. A TUF 5 alumni, Miller has his next fight against TUF 9 winner Ross Pearson and UFC Fight Night 22.

Here’s a great short documentry on Miller

Hey Cole, how’s the training camp going?

This training camp is going great. I’ve never felt better this close to a fight. I’m injury free, striking; Jiu Jitsu and wrestling are all on point. As far as conditioning is concerned this is the best I’ve felt this far out as well.

For those of us who don’t know a lot about you, tell us about your career up to this point?

I started fighting and training in 2003 in my hometown of Macon, Georgia. I had a very good amateur career only losing to Daizo Ishige (who later became Pancrase world champion and losing to British UFC contender Dan Hardy*fun fact*)After turning pro and coming up on the Atlanta fight scene I had reached a pinnacle of sorts as far as progression, and it was time for me to move. So I opted to move to Florida to train at American Top Team. I went 8-1 while being at ATT only losing to SHOOTO featherweight champion Lion Takeshi in a close decision. Following a few fights thereafter I was casted onto TUF 5. I did well on the show and after being on it, I now realize it was one of the best experiences of my career helping me finally realize my dream of fighting in the UFC. Since then, I’ve gone 5-2 in the UFC with four of those wins by finish, and three of those four earning bonuses. Notable wins in the UFC against Leonard Garcia, Jorge Gurgel, and Dan Lauzon. My losses are against Jeremy Stephens and Efrain Escudero.

How did you get the nickname “Magrinho”? It’s quite a random/unusual nick name for a fighter.

It means skinny in Portuguese. A fair amount of our pro team/coaching staff is Brazilian, and head coach Ricardo Liborio just started calling me Magrinho, because of the obvious, I’m skinny.

What’s a normal training session for you and what have you been focusing on in your camp for your upcoming fight?

Similar to how many top fighters train, there’s no such thing as a normal routine. Since I have to train so many different things I have to train separately and then combine them together. I’ll train in Boxing, Kickboxing, BJJ, Wrestling, Strength and conditioning, and then mixing them all together with sparring and drilling technique as well. I hate game-plans. The only two fights i went into with game-plans I’ve lost. I feel better being prepared for everything, kind of an old school mentality. I think game-plans are great for certain people, but my game has never really been based on imposing my will on others. I was never a wrestler and didn’t come from any style; I started with MMA at first then learnt the individual martial arts thereafter.  Plus for not being very athletic( from the “true athlete” perspective, meaning i don’t have a high vertical, can’t lift a lot of weights, and don’t run a fast 40 yard dash) it’s important that i can adjust to other peoples game-plans and be able to force others to make mistakes, and be able to capitalize on them. I also think it’s important to be able do everything. Therefore, I train everything and just go in there and fight.

You got taken out of TUF by Joe Lauzon in a controversial fashion, yet you managed to lock in arguably the best submission of the year against his brother. Did you feel any sense of retribution, especially since you got another pay check with the submission of the night?

No not really, I have nothing against Joe or his family, it was nice to be able to get the win after getting rocked, and it was cool to showcase such a unique submission that most people in the MMA world don’t get to see very often.

You have a match against Ross Pearson on UFC Fight Night. You were also going to have a fight against Andre Winner and you fought Efrain Escudero. Do you enjoy facing TUF alumni or is it all Joe Silva giving you the fights?

I just take the fights that get offered to me. I’m not really one to back down from a fight, or choose a fight. If i was able to choose my opponents i would pick some of the top contenders. I like being able to find out a little bit about myself in a fight through struggle and adversity, and so far I’ve been able to have some triumphs and failures in the octagon, it’s all part of the martial arts journey. I’m very happy with the fights Joe Silva has given me. He does a great job for the UFC.

He’s known as being an impressive striker, but he also has quite a few wins via submission. Is there anywhere where you feel you have specific advantage over Pearson or somewhere you’d prefer the fight to go to?

I know that he is primarily a striker and though he has many submissions but he’s never faced a Jiu Jitsu guy as good as me. I think on paper he has the advantage on the feet and I have it on the ground. That being said, I don’t prefer the fight to go anywhere in particular, not because I want to show off my striking but because this is a fight and anything can happen. One has to be prepared for the worst. I think I’m a little more diverse than he is, and he definitely wants this fight to only be in one place, and that is on the feet.

In my eyes, you’ve got some of the best BJJ in the Lightweight division with some of the flashiest submissions. Do you enjoy creating new flashy submissions or do you just see a way to finish a fight and try to finish it in the best way possible.

Thank you very much. I like finishing impressively, but when one looks to try to do something cool usually they end up looking foolish. I have a long frame and utilize it to the best of my abilities. I don’t think I’ve created anything new, it’s the variations and setups to the endgame that I am constantly trying to invent or rather reinvent for my game. This is what martial arts is about, constant renovation of old techniques, adding flashiness, while maintaining fundamental basics. For instance, the moves I can’t do, i still have to know because maybe i can show it to someone who it does work for, thus preparing the next generation or even an older student for anything that can happen.

Are there any submissions that you’d like to win a fight with that you haven’t managed to pull off in your career so far?

Arm Triangle, a few other flashy submissions that are a bit impractical, but anything is possible.

Thanks for the time Cole and good luck with your fight against Ross Pearson. Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

I want to thank Tapout, Ubisoft games (be sure to check out assassins creed: brotherhood for ps3 or xbox360), American top team, IHP, my chiropractor matt, and be sure to check out my official fan page on Facebook,, and my twitter @colemilleratt, along with colemillerkills as my Xbox gamertag. Thanks a lot guys and although I’m fighting a brit, root for me because I’m awesome and you can be one of the exclusive dozens of fans worldwide i have 🙂


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